If you are experiencing the summer we’re having in Iowa, strawberries might be in season for you. And, if you are like me, you might be looking for some new ways to cook with and/or serve them to others. Well, I was looking through my copy of the Smoke and Pickles cookbook and came across this recipe for strawberry ketchup. It was just intriguing enough that I knew I wanted to make it and try it out. Thus far, I’ve tasted it on its own and with beef, and it hasn’t disappointed in either setting. I think it could compete with a number of other spices going on in a meat, and so I would be hesitant to serve it alongside a heavily-seasoned meat item, but it’s definitely not sweet enough to be confused with a jam or jelly.
The ketchup has a nice sweetness, without being overpowering, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I imagine setting it on the table at a barbecue and having people put a little dab on their plate, but then enjoying it enough to go back for more.
I will say that I ended up cooking it for quite a bit longer after pureeing it and adding the other seasonings because I wanted to thicken it up more than it automatically did during the cooking process. Take that into consideration, should you choose to make it as well.
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, sliced or halved
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Combine the strawberries, onion, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small pot, bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for 14 minutes, until the strawberries are soft and broken down.
Transfer the berry mixture to a blender and puree on high. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the solids.
Add the white vinegar, ginger, salt, white pepper, paprika, cumin, and cloves. Whisk well. Transfer to two small jars, cover, and refrigerate. The ketchup will keep up to a month in the refrigerator.